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Engl 130: Research Hacks

Proposal & Mini-Genres

Remember that you have built an understanding of your topic and the discussion around it from your previous research.  Now you need to start thinking about practical solutions and applications with a proposal and plan for a local audience.  You do not have to start from scratch!  Look at how other communities and institutions are working with your issue and see: how do they present it? Where do they get their data? What can be applied to your situation? What are the successes and barriers?  In order to find these types of reports - commonly known as "grey literature" you need to become an expert internet searcher.  The library also offers databases for newspaper articles and statistics in addition to academic journal articles.

Research Hacks: Locally Sourced

  • Think about where to look before doing your search - what is your topic? What kind of information are you looking for? Then select the best Google power search technique. 
  • Use short information pieces to discover avenues for research: people, associations, reports that can also be researched. If you find a proposal from somewhere else, that can be a model for you to customize.
  • Use the same "search string" in Google AND Google Scholar.
  • Use the same techniques and strategies you have learned in database searching for internet searching.
  • Be investigative in assessing the credibility and reliability of the information you find.
  • Keep track of your research.

Newspaper Sources

A newspaper reporter will describe events, programs and initiatives on a local level, quoting experts and describing impacts
Newspaper databases offered by the library:
The Grand Forks Herald is not included in the library databases and needs to be searched separately:

Accessing Statistics

UND Statistics
Government agencies track programs and produce reports and statistics on topics from health, safety, food, education - anything that touches citizen's lives:
Statistics Database

Accessing Local Information

UND and Higher Education
Visit department/program websites to learn about the working being done at UND, for example:

Look at UND Publications

Look at UND Official Records